November 13, 2017 Library to Host Symposium on Early Research of Papers of King George III

Scholars to Present Early Findings from the Georgian Papers in the Royal Archives

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Public Contact: Travis Hensley (202) 707-8807
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Scholars who were recently among the first to examine the papers of King George III, the English monarch in power when the American colonies declared independence, in the Georgian Papers at England’s Windsor Castle will reveal their early findings in a symposium Friday, Dec. 1 at 2 p.m., at the Library of Congress.

The event is free, but tickets are required. To secure tickets, visit this event-ticketing site: eventbrite.com/e/the-georgian-papers-programme-tickets-39738048573. The symposium will be held in the Thomas Jefferson Building, Room 119, located at 10 First St. SE, Washington, D.C.

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress is partnering with the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture and King’s College London to host the symposium and support the study of the collection of King George III through the Georgian Papers Programme, a partnership among British and American institutions.

Featured scholars for the symposium will include:

  • Arthur Burns, academic director of the Georgian Papers Programme and professor of modern British history at King’s College London
  • Karin Wulf, director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture and professor of history at the College of William & Mary; the Omohundro Institute and William & Mary are the primary U.S. partners in the Georgian Papers Programme
  • Andrew O’Shaughnessy, vice president at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and professor of history at the University of Virginia
  • Jim Ambuske, the Farmer Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia School of Law library

Following the symposium, there will be a small display of items from the Library’s British Cartoon Prints Collection, which includes caricatures highlighting British political life, society and tensions with the colonies.

The Library is collaborating with the Royal Collection Trust and King’s College London to digitize, disseminate and interpret the Georgian Papers, which include the papers of King George III (1738-1820). Approximately 85 percent of the Georgian Papers have never before been examined by scholars. They include correspondence, maps, essays and royal ledgers.

A major exhibition, “The Two Georges,” is planned for 2020-2021 to explore the overlapping worlds of King George III and George Washington, two globally significant figures of the late 18th century. The exhibition, exploring the commonalities and contrasts between the two men and the global political and cultural contexts of their lives, will open first at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and subsequently at a venue in London. 

King George III ruled Great Britain from 1760 to 1820, encompassing the Seven Years’ War, the American Revolution and the War of 1812. George III is often labeled as “mad,” or the king who lost America. Over the next four years, the Georgian Papers Programme promises to reveal many more dimensions to Britain's longest-reigning king, allowing the public and scholars alike a unique window into the life, reign and times of King George III, his impact then and his continuing influence on today’s world.  

In January 2017, the first 33,000 pages of the Georgian Papers were published online at royalcollection.org.uk/georgianpapers. The papers include copious letters between George III and his government, his many essays, detailed notes about the war in America, intimate letters between George III and his wife, Queen Charlotte, and letters to family members during the king’s bouts of illness.

The Georgian Papers Programme is part of the Royal Collection Trust’s effort to increase public access to and understanding of primary-source material held in the collection. It follows the success of the digitization of Queen Victoria’s journals in 2012.

The Library of Congress holds the papers of numerous United States founders, including those of George Washington, offering historical context when paired with documents in Britain’s Royal Archives. The George Washington Papers are available online at loc.gov/collections/george-washington-papers/.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

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PR 17-169
2017-11-13
ISSN 0731-3527